When it comes to running shoes, comfort is king. Whether you’re a high mileage, daily runner, or a weekend warrior, we all want that running shoe that delivers great comfort while running.
Whatever your running preferences or racing requirements, there are hundreds of “comfortable” models out there from various brands choosing the right one can be confusing and time-consuming.
To guide you in your search for the most comfortable running shoes, we’ve handpicked the models that deliver that “aahhh, this-is-it” sensation. Each pair of shoes we recommend on this list was ranked on overall value, road or trail performance, budget-friendliness, and most popular options.
These top picks also earned high scores based on our rigorous testing in three areas such as overall fit, cushioning, and, yes, comfort.
With years of running under our belts and numerous hours of testing thousands of running shoes, we can definitely say that we know a lot about comfortable running shoes. In this list, we’ve highlighted the models based on the following selection process:
We buy all the shoes with our own money to avoid bias and brand loyalty.
We cut each shoe to pieces in our lab. We weigh and measure 30+ parameters of its essential parts, from cushioning, breathability, stability, and many more.
Our testers log at least 30 to 40 miles of running on each pair in various training and racing conditions.
We collect more information from other shoe experts and regular runners. We add them to our comparable data in a summary format.
The final rating on each shoe is reflected in our proprietary CoreScore system. Ranging from 0 to 100, you will see how each model is ranked among other 800+ comfortable running shoes in our portfolio. Our best picks are shown on this list.
The Ghost 14 from Brooks really fits the bill as the shoe for all runners. It's a workhorse that's comfy enough for easy days, responsive for tempo sessions, and is heavy-duty to handle light trails. Overall, a no-fuss daily trainer that will work for all your runs!
Among all the shoes we've tested, nothing comes close to how the Saucony Endorphin Speed fits the bill as a speedster that can certainly go the distance! Whether it's a 10K, half marathon, or marathon, you can set PBs in this baby! Might feel weird while walking or jogging, but becomes a perfect fit when you really pick up the pace. It's made for speed, and it sticks to that!
One of Brooks’ most revered and popular stability shoes gets a well-needed modern update for 2022. This daily runner is loved by many because it’s seen as the Jack of all trades running shoe thanks to a bi-directional correction for different over-pronation. With fresher looks, it’s now an even more attractive option.
The Corescore is a score from 0-100 that summarizes opinions from users and
experts. Below shows the distribution of scores for all running shoes.
This shoe has a 10% penalty on its user ratings because it has fewer than 50 ratings. It
also has a 10% penalty on its expert reviews because it has fewer than 5 reviews. This is
to avoid that shoes with few ratings unjustly receives high scores.
"The hype is real." This is how runners find the Glycerin 20 from Brooks. They even hail it as the best Glycerin to date. With its luxe comfort and a touch of pop, it's a fun and lively workhorse that works perfectly for recovery days and long miles on the road. Overall, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is a tried-and-true daily trainer that's a cozy and reliable pick for both beginners and seasoned road runners.
The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make you run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this shoe will bite its way through them!
The Pegasus road series just holds a special place in our feet, we just had to see it in trail action. And voila! 50 miles later, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 won us over with its uber plush landings! It's stable and comfy and will make your run cloud-like. When faced with slick surfaces, however, it shows its limitations.
Ah, the Nike Free Run… Calling this a running shoe is a stretch, but there’s still a vestige of folks out there in the minimalist fan group that likes the slipper-like feel of Nike’s long-running “Free” lineup. The 2021 update steers back toward a less bizarre-looking shoe than we saw in 2020 but continues with the ultralight and ultra-flexible design.
An affordable trainer that's got the makings of advanced running shoes? Hello, Brooks Revel 5! It's a smooth and lively jack-of-all-trades that will keep your feet comfy and bouncing. It can push the pace, eat up half-marathon distances, and breeze through your daily runs!
If there's one thing we can't take away from the Pegasus 38, it's that it's the GOAT of all workhorse shoes in our arsenal! It oozes with plushness, stability, and pop. It can do slow days, tempo sessions, and even gym workouts. If you want a fun ride, take the Pegasus 38!
After putting it to the test, we can confidently say that the Hoka Bondi 7 screams comfort! It's highly cushioned and soft, we just couldn't get enough of it in long-distance recovery runs. It runs as smooth as a butter! And if there was a heaven for the feet, this is it right here. If there's a downside, it's that all its plushness comes at the expense of durability.
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.